The ship in Horace's famous Ship Ode (Odes 1.14) continues to be identified with the Ship of State, despite the serious problems with this interpretation demonstrated by Charles Mendell (1938) and W. S. Anderson (1966). Still, a truly convincing alternative to the accepted view has never been proposed. A reading of the ode in the context of the First Book of Odes, however, shows that Odes 1.14 is part of a series of poems (Odes 1.5, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17) that feature different kinds of love triangles. These poems provide multiple clues that the ship in 1.14 is not a worn-out prostitute, as has been argued, but an attractive young hetaera faced with the choice between a younger, passionate lover and a calmer, more mature admirer.


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pp. 149-169
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